Given that we are in a rampant bull market, where it could be argued even a blind-folded monkey throwing a dart at the back page of the Financial Times could make money, although perhaps not a fund manager, there are plenty of outperforming small caps around. The challenge currently is to narrow choices to only the best companies given the embarrassment of riches.
However, even these days a 100% intraday rise for a stock is impressive. To start the week it was the turn of Xtract Resources (XTR) to take a bow, as its shares doubled off the back of the latest update from its Bushranger copper-gold exploration project located in the Lachlan Fold Belt, New South Wales, Australia. The latest kicker has been that while copper mineralisation in the hole was first noted at a depth of 110m, the hole has been mineralised continuously to the latest depth of 975m, 160m past the original planned finishing depth. Xtract said that the hole continues to encounter strong visible copper mineralisation, and will be extended until the zone is drilled through.
Sticking with the mining sector, and ordinarily it would be Oriole (ORR), with a 59% share price rise which would be at the top of the leaderboard. Instead, with bulls arguing the market did not fully appreciate the value of the latest RNS from the exploration company focussed on West Africa. Indeed, the summary of the current work programmes on projects ongoing during Q1-2021 did appear pretty heft for a group with a market cap of just £20m even after the latest share price rise.
So, just for a change it was the turn of a crypto miner to play second fiddle to an old style mining company. Nevertheless, the former best stock of 2021, Argo Blockchain (ARB)was still in the news in the wake of a private placement to “certain institutional investors” for gross proceeds of £22.4 million at 80p a share. While some cynics might wonder why Argo needs to raise any money after coining it on the tripling of Bitcoin since the start of the autumn, clearly striking while the iron is hot is not a bad strategy. The fact that the shares closed at 90p, well above the placing price, indicates that investor were certainly giving the company the thumbs up to raise cash for “working capital and corporate purposes.”
Sometimes in terms of investor relations for small caps / AIM, it can be the case that one is damned if one does and damned if one does not regarding telling the market as it is. This point was underlined in the wake of the latest announcement from Pharm2farm, as Remote Monitored Systems (RMS) investee company delivered its latest newsflow. It starts off with the appointment of Alex Vergopoulos as an Executive Director of the Company. He has already “worked closely with one of Pharm2Farm’s production partners” and will oversee the production and sales of the P2F viricidal surgical masks. In terms of the certification of the now legendary masks, they have passed four out of the five stages required to reach mask production nirvana, thankfully less than the eight stages apparently required to reach full enlightenment.
As far as tech investor Pires (PIRI) has been concerned, where stock market heavyweights Riverfort (RGO), Chris Akers, and John Mahtani are stakebuilders, we saw the shares trade back to flat on the day as it was evident that the slack in the wake of the recent spike to 17.5p was being taken up. The shares have been feeling the love of late after the well received purchase of decentralised finance technology finance group YOP. Other investee stocks of Akers, AAA (AAA), and Dev Clever (DEV) continued to make fresh highs.
Clean Energy SPAC Pineapple Power (PNPL) saw its shares rise by a third, as it caught the zeitgeist of its sector, and the way that there is hardly any free float. It will be interesting to see how high the shares will eventually climb when the “aggressive investor relations campaign” and “strong newsflow” actually kick in. In the meantime, the squeeze higher appears to be quite painful given the lack of stock around, despite professional investors still flying blind in terms of the timelines on the story.
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